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PISCES, AQUARIUS, CAPRICORN & JONES LTD.
By Brian McMahon
June 6, 2001
They were not an album group, this is their best. We all love the fact
they played MOST of there own instruments on Headquarters, but with this album
you had the best of both worlds...Monkees inspiration mixed with session man perspiration.
Even Davy sounds cool on this album ('Hard to Believe' notwithstanding). Maybe Mike's
finest hour, nailing the lead vocals on 'Hanging Round', 'Salesman', 'Door Into
Summer' and 'Don't Call on Me'(a shmaltzer that would have played better in the early
60's) He also penned the Micky-sung 'Daily Nightly'. Lets not forget the Machine-gun
drumming perfection of 'Pleasant Valley Sunday', which includes first-rate instrumentation
on all its tracks. This album is a great mix of country rock and Psychedelic Pop, and
recent CD releases with bonus tracks make it irresistible! Only regret: The mix used on
the T.V's show's video of 'Words' is superior to that which ended up on the album.
To listen to some soundclips from PISCES, AQUARIUS, CAPRICORN & JONES LTD. or to purchase it, click on: Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd (CC Music) or Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. (Alibris)
By Steve Cronen Child of the Monkees
July 3, 2000
Few words are good enough to describe the Monkees' third album, Headquarters. Rather, Headquarters is an opus, ranking among my other favorite albums of all time: Revolver. Exile on Main Street. Led Zeppelin IV. Who's Next. This was the album where the Monkees, the once-manufactured image of a band, cast off their reputation for not playing their own instruments and played just about every single note themselves. The Monkees had been playing as a live group since December of 1966. They managed to fire their musical supervisor/tyrant, Don Kirshner, who had kept the Monkees from getting in their input on albums. This was their first album on which they contributed all of their own talents. The album leads off brilliantly with Mike Nesmith's "You Told Me." The infamous count-in (1,2,3! 1,2,3! 1,2,3! 1,2,3,4! DUUUUH!) gets me smiling every time. Peter Tork rules the electric banjo, and Mike's voice is superb. "Forget That Girl" is another highlight, showcasing the brilliant Davy Jones. "You Just May Be the One" is my favorite of the bunch. On many of the songs, because the usual bassist, Peter Tork, was busy on keyboards or something (the guy was a regular Brian Jones), they got their producer Chip Douglas (ex-Turtles) to play bass. But this song doesn't use Douglas. It's just the four Monkees, plain and simple, contributing one of their best songs ever. "Shades of Grey" is beautiful. For me, it's comparable to great ballads like the Stones' "No Expectations" and the Who's "Blue, Red, and Grey." "For Pete's Sake" is a classic rock song. "No Time" rocks the faithful. "Randy Scouse Git," Micky Dolenz's tour de force, features off-the-wall lyrics, amazing drumming by Dolenz himself, and a sinister meaning (the title is a dig at the Beatles, meaning "horny Liverpudlian bastard"). All of the other songs, even the jam sessions like "Zilch" and "Band 6," are wonderful. I only wish the Monkees would have included their single "The Girl I Knew Somewhere" (a.k.a. the best Monkees song ever) and their unreleased "All of Your Toys." But, oh well. The Rhino reissued CD is notable for the inclusion of Mike Nesmith's touching demo of "Nine Times Blue." Even if you don't dig the Monkees, this album has something for everyone. I suggest picking it up as soon as you can. And remember: "Love is understanding... we gotta be free." -Peter Tork
To listen to some sound clips from HEADQUARTERS or to buy it, click on: Headquarters (6 Bonus Tracks)
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